The INFJ Enneagram Types

You know you’re a Feeler when you’ve been working hard and doing well, but in the end, the only thing that made you feel truly good about yourself was helping someone who felt bad. Type is all about how you feel, really. You can become good at Thinking or Sensing as an INFJ, at least decently so, but the question is, what energy, purpose, or value does Sensing and Thinking give you? Type is all about flow, and those that try too hard to compensate for their weaknesses may find themselves feeling understimulated and stuck in a bad rut. We’ve all heard about the INFJ Ni-Ti loop. But there’s a lot more underneath the iceberg.

The Enneagram, I’ve found, is about blocks and issues in finding and maintaining this flow. The Enneagram fixation becomes stronger the more attached we are to acting in ways that are counterintuitive to our needs and values. The Enneagram discusses emotional states that are less than ideal. The 2s pride comes from the underappreciation towards one’s own interests and hobbies. The 4s nostalgia comes from the neglect of their present self and their new values and interests. The 8s lust comes from a lack of personal boundaries and disrespect towards one’s own needs.

INFJ Enneagram 1

Don’t be fooled that your Intuition and your vision only has value if it can be used to drive forward objective, measurable results. Learn to value and appreciate the existential, healing, and interpersonal qualities of your journey too. If you become hyperfocused on pushing forward and showing results for your efforts, you might lose motivation and passion, and this can make you struggle with perfectionism. The lesson should be to refocus from the question of what results your vision can bring you to what lessons you can learn and what impact you can have on other people as a result of your vision.

INFJ Enneagram 2

It’s great to feel good about what you do, live with integrity, and be true to your values and beliefs. But you don’t have to compromise your existential interests and your more Intuitive hobbies for the sake of other people. Too many INFJ-2s decide to live a purely traditional and limited life in accordance with their parents and friends expectations. INFJ: while it may be difficult to explain your visions and ideas to others, trust that your ideas and visions can bring a great deal of good to the world and to the people you care about overtime. While it may seem like just a hobby, even an innocent hobby can end up having an enormous impact in the world.

INFJ Enneagram 3

INFJ-3, just because it’s happening in your head, does not make it any less real. The work you do does not have to translate into a happy, cheering audience. You don’t have to work overly hard to be seen or to show other people how hard you work. You don’t have to always be on for other people. Take the time to unwind and to detach and see for yourself the existential value of what you do, and appreciate the things you do, even the things nobody else knows about.

If you try too much to get other people to appreciate you, you will only overwhelm yourself. INFJ-3s often struggle with coming home and recognizing their need for downtime. They often feel that downtime is time wasted, when in fact, downtime is time to center, to gain insight, and to process the lessons you have learned throughout the day.

INFJ Enneagram 4

INFJ-4s often feel bad about not being more stress-tolerant, resilient, and successful. The INFJ-4 may feel weak or inferior in comparison to those that can be more structured and pragmatic, wishing they also had the energy, power, and productive capacity of these types.

The INFJ-4 can idealize those who have power, but at the same time, struggle with resentment towards those that are more successful. This is because the INFJ-4 is strongly aware that their values and interests are often in direct opposition to the establishment. In this, the INFJ-4s are constantly juggling whether they should stay true to themselves or whether they should just “toughen up” and be more realistic. Sometimes, there can be a feeling that society is rigged and that you can’t realize your intuition and feeling because society doesn’t care. Then it is important to connect with like-minded spirits who dream just like you do.

At the same time, an INFJ can be truly romantic in the pursuit of their vision, because even though they try to push away or ignore their hero’s calling, this only makes their dreams more intense: so should they stay true to their ideals, they can become true visionaries and adventurers. Often, the INFJ-4 is fighting to realize that they already possess what they need to succeed; they don’t have to become something they are not. What you are is already enough.

INFJ Enneagram 5

INFJ-5 visions always appear impossible in the beginning. Don’t get stuck in the drawing stages. Don’t let small technical issues and questions of strategy get in the way. Realize that many of the problems you see will be solved along the way, and you can survive great hardship for your ideas and your Intuition. Too many INFJs will become obsessed with answering unanswered questions and solving technical problems. The stinginess of the 5 is found in that the INFJ will refuse to spend energy or to invest until someone proves to them that they can profit from it.

INFJ-5s will often become uncommunicative, thinking they can’t move forward until they have solved the problem. Here’s another issue: A lot of the problems INFJs are obsessing over can only find answers with an open and prolific mind, the mind of a person who lives the vision the INFJ-5 is waiting to start. The popular theory about Ni-Ti loops explains this well: The Ni-Ti loop reveals the desire to prove their thoughts through evidence and critical thinking and to move rationally towards an impulse that is in its nature irrational.

Often, the Ni-Ti loop will serve the opposite role of what Intuition is supposed to provide the INFJ. The INFJ will shoot down their visions and dreams and aspirations and deem them as “impossible,” and then find themselves locked in the status quo. By the time the INFJ has proven that their vision was indeed rational, it may be too late to go for it, and they bear the disappointment of a missed opportunity.

INFJ Enneagram 6

INFJs are very insecure about their Thinking and lack of complete Accuracy (Ti). They are speculative types – philosophical types – that deal with “what-could-be” and “what might become.” There are never any perfect, absolute answers, and INFJs ideally answer with estimations, theories, and suggestive foresight.

The INFJ-6 will often be far too bound by the system, and will only give space to personal intuitions and ideas when they can fit within the system’s external demands and within some frame of logic. The INFJ-6 will discount anything outside the structure. The insecurity of the 6 can drive the INFJ-6 towards taking shelter behind other people or systems with the line of reasoning: “If my ideas fail, the system will protect me. But if my ideas go outside the system, and they fail, I will not have the system to protect me.” So, the INFJ-6 becomes tempted only to explore ideas accepted by whatever system is around them. If a friend says it’s a good idea, it’s go-time, but if they dislike it, an INFJ-6 might become insecure and full of doubt.

INFJs can become insecure about their ideas, thinking they must take more time to explain and prove their theories to the world. But this pursuit can cut them off from their passion – which is to share and use their theories to guide other people. While the INFJ-6 tests their theories, they often feel too insecure to apply their Intuition to better the world. Often, what they must realize is that the answers do not have to be perfect, or right in all situations. They only have to be right more often than they are wrong.

INFJ Enneagram 7

INFJs benefit by rallying and convincing other people to follow them in their visions and existential journeys. If INFJs do not share their processes, experiences or discoveries, they do not get the same value or meaning out of their journey as they could have gotten. INFJ-7s constantly carry this feeling of emptiness, as they move bravely and intuitively. Their Intuition can feel lonely if they forget about their Feeling Copilot – Harmony (Fe). Typically, they can remedy this loneliness and emptiness if they can let their visions and ideas have an impact on, but also be influenced by, other people.

When INFJs forget to explore their Intuition and visions in this way – without sharing them with other people and without using their lessons and insight to make the world a better place – they can feel the sting of emptiness. The mistake here is assuming that their journeys or ideas have no value and that there is always a better idea, which suggests that the INFJ-7 is not looking closely enough and not taking the time to appreciate what value their ideas have to offer.

INFJ Enneagram 8

In the INFJ-8 is a person with an intense lust for a global mission or vision. The INFJ-8 is ready to set aside personal comforts and peace for the sake of a productive life in service of their values and their ideals. But often, the INFJ-8 gets caught in the trap of pursuing and championing ambitions and ideas of other people. While this gives power and influence that is usually positive for the INFJ-8, it can cloud their judgment and awareness. They lose the big picture when they become sucked into the day to day demands of being a leader or inspirational figure. In this scenario, INFJ-8s may compromise their health and well-being and find themselves driven to burnout. Not recommended.

The INFJ-8 may become the weapon or the true representative of a collective vision and mission. But in thinking that they constantly have to work for other people, they may be missing out on crucial downtime and self-reflection hours. And there’s a risk here that in charging forward blindly without connecting to their higher awareness and Intuition, can result in taking on visions and missions that are unrelated to their real purpose and life philosophy.

INFJ Enneagram 9

Finally, the INFJ-9 is often a highly creative type, but with an overfocus on Accuracy (Ti). INFJ-9s may use their Thinking to anticipate problems and criticisms that others will have to their ideas, shooting down our own creativity. The INFJ-9 will keep looking for a good idea, but will typically end up abandoning and becoming critical of plans too quickly, making it hard for them to express their ideas in a structured and proactive manner.

The INFJ-9 diagnoses everything they think and is constantly readjusting their ideas and checking for options or alternative ways to advance their vision. This tendency to stall never gives them the focus they need for their Intuition to gain enough speed and force. The INFJs vision can bring significant change and growth in the world, but it can also spark conflict, and the INFJ-9 is seeking a vision that will bring change without tension and conflict. However, no such idea exists, and so, the INFJ-9 may find themselves on an impossible quest, full of ideas, but no idea “good enough” “big enough” or “peaceful enough” for the limitations we may force upon it.

INFJ Social Instinct

The fear of isolation and exclusion can be just as real in the INFJ as in all people. In all of us, the consequence is that this fear can alter our behavior and our self-expression. INFJs can get caught in the mirroring trap: instinctively, they will reflect whatever it is that other people want to see. On reflex, the INFJ may say and do things that other people will appreciate. Their Extraverted Sensing (“Sensation”) can take over here, and in the grip, it’s easy just to mold themselves to environmental expectations.

People confuse Harmony (Fe) with over-adaptiveness, but regular mirroring and social street flow are often found more in Sensation (Se). The INFJ-Social subtype carries an acute awareness of how different they are from other people, and this drives them to cover up and hide their quirks from other people in social situations. INFJ-Social subtypes become prone to mirroring other people, echoing what they say, taking on their hobbies and energy, and becoming social chameleons.

The INFJ-Social subtype may feel that anyone can like them, while simultaneously believing that they don’t fit in anywhere. The INFJs Intuitive mind remains hidden from most people, and only they themselves realize what they are hiding inside. These personas drain and overwhelm the Social subtype INFJ, causing them to retreat to a private space where their hidden weirdness can come out unchecked.

INFJ Sexual Instinct

The feeling of never being truly safe and at peace around other people is strongest in the sexual INFJ. INFJ-Sexual subtypes will pursue intensity in relationships, in an effort to find that genuine state of comfort and connection, where they can finally relax around the other person. But in the pursuit of this experience, the INFJ-Sexual subtype may become overly adaptive, which can put other people on edge.

The sexual subtype INFJ is often overly-accommodating, trying too hard to mirror and to make other people feel comfortable at the expense of their own personal discomfort. INFJs usually have an awareness of discomfort and pain in other people. They can see when someone is walking funny, or in distress, or when someone is struggling with something, and the INFJ nature is to accommodate and to aid, almost overly so.

The INFJ-Sexual subtype is a healer and a counselor of high intrapersonal intelligence, but their visions and ideas are often clouded by the ideal of working through other people. Possibly due to too much modesty, the INFJ-Sx feels it is not their role to do something. Change must come, but it is going to have to come from someone else – someone who is more worthy. But there is a risk of setting oneself up for disappointment here: nobody can achieve your dreams but you, and in the end, the candidates you choose will always end up pursuing their own purpose, not yours. If an idea has come to you, it is because that idea is yours to achieve.

INFJ Self-Preservation Instinct

I’ve found INFJ-Self-Preservation subtypes to be overly attached to security and harmony, at the expense of not pursuing personal visions and values that may put security and harmony at risk. There is a need to realize that there is a higher order and harmony in everything and that you are a natural part of that. If you trust your vision and your values, that can eventually bring peace and security to the world. However, there is a need here to let go of comforts and stability. To expose yourself and to be vulnerable.

Your Emotions Tell You About Your Balance

Notice how each Enneagram reveals the true nature of an INFJ. Sure, they can try to behave differently, they can hide certain aspects of themselves, and they can get caught up in social masks and expectations from work or family, but in the end, how the INFJ feels about these masks and these expectations is the most revealing thing.

If an INFJ learns to recognize their emotions, they can also recognize imbalances and issues with their less developed functions. This way, the INFJ can take control over their mental processing and start using it for their benefit. Perhaps the confusion or nostalgia INFJs feel has a deeper hidden message: they look for happiness in all the wrong places.


Want to Learn More About the Enneagram? Check out:

Enneagram Roadmap



The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of Personality Hacker, its team, or affiliates.


The INFJ in the Enneagram #INFJ #enneagram

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Showing 18 comments
  • Ellie Brooker

    Okay I need HELP. I’m an INFJ. Every time I take an enneagram test, I get a different result, and sometimes it even comes up inconclusive on the eclectic energies website. It mostly shifts between 2, 4, 5, 6, and 9. The problem is, I relate to all of these types fairly deeply. I keep researching and taking different tests on different websites and trying to understand the system better but I still always come up short. I just wanna know for sure dude.

    • Wyrd Lore

      Look into your tritypes rather than just the base enneagram. got me pinned the first test. I took the test a few more times and got different results (taken on different days and in different moods) and the results didn’t suit me at all. I find taking the test when I am neither particularly happy nor particularly upset gets me the best results because I am more at a constant. Also being very in tune with, “what do / I / feel about this statement, not what I am expected to feel” is the requirement here that would be missing for many an INFJ in taking such tests.

      Look into tri-types, you probably feel like you fit many because those aren’t accounting for the “wings” or shifts in a particular mode of that so-called ‘type.’ I prefer enneagram over MBTI because (see website below) really brings you into understanding the psychological reasoning for your behavior and subconscious biases/nature. MBTI is also largely a marketing strategy, vanilla descriptions that could fit many, and focused near solely on instant gratification rather than on your particular flavor of modus operandi, including the darkness and the light (as well as how that can degenerate into certain diagnoses, which, when taken with a grain of salt, can help you to hold yourself accountable).

      Look into and read those painfully true descriptions, think of you at your worst and read what it has to say about the “lower levels of functioning.” Then think about you at your best, when you felt the most you, and look at how it describes the “healthy/higher levels of functioning”.

      Based on your responses, your likely Enneagram Tritype is: 4-7-1
      and your likely Enneagram Tritype with wings is: 4w3-7w6-1w9

      Your overall type preference is:
      type 4 (4w3) first,
      type 7 (7w6) second,
      and type 1 (1w9) third.

      Your dominant body-based type is type 1 (1w9)
      Your dominant heart-based type is type 4 (4w3)
      Your dominant head-based type is type 7 (7w6)

      Finding my tri type also made sense of my MBTI results which seem wildly absurdly different: INFJ, ENTP, INTJ. Those three correlate very well with my tri-types (in my limited knowledge). I think the INFJ helps soften my 7 and 1 wings, but my 7 makes me more verbose and social, and my 1 makes me more logical/analytical than what an INFJ ‘on paper’ is “supposed” to be. I can better understand why I was the way I was as both a child or when I am particularly stressed. But while in the flow state, these tri-types keep me highly intuitive, inventive, and somehow pragmatic (at least when decisions regard others and not myself). This leaves me at a 4w3: I am empathic/in tune with what others or the world needs no matter how small the niche; no matter what I do the desire to help bring others to a higher state is always there and must always be in a creative way, I’m creative to a fault, all the while I am also very analytical, both philosophically and in a psychoanalytical sense in order to make sense of human nature and experience. I’m an odd duck. At my worst, I can be emotional (4), yet avoidant (7), and then suppress myself (1) (I set myself on fire to keep others warm because being there for others is a bandaid on Type 4’s basic fear: no significance and or identity. And INFJ gives this a shallow bandaid through both intuiting others’ needs to formulate a perceived purpose instant validation and [internally] perceiving myself through their reactions- this should be opposite for self-identity and internal significance). The procrastinating perfectionist. I know what others need and I’ll be there for them, but not myself, yet I’m very aware of this yet still super dumb about it. (8′

      I know I’m some stranger typing a wall of text seemingly about myself, but I hope me describing my experience helps you to better find yourself. (: Best wishes fellow traveler~

    • Kasia

      If don’t know “who you are” like this and relate strongly to multiple types than you might be 9 I guess. Read deeper into enneagram. On the enneagram institute website you can check “mistyping”. I’m 9 myself so I understand your doubt very well ?

  • Cheryl A Merrick

    Thank you! Just what I needed to help me apply my Enneagram results to my life. It was clear, positive, and helpful.

  • tajhizyar

    interesting ! Thanks for information !

  • Bruce Bruno

    I was wondering something, and thought that someone here might be able to help.When I took the REHTI Enneagram and got the results it said the highest score would be my type, and if not it would be in the top 2-3. Crazy enough, I wound up getting 3 highest scores that were equal, and this is NOT a joke, I wound up getting three 6’s. Type1: 3, Type 2: 6, Type 3: 5, Type 4: 3, Type 5: 3, Type 6: 1, Type 7: 6, Type 8: 6, Type 9:3. I was wondering what to make of this? Which am I? Is it all 3? I feel it is correct eventhough 2 seem contradictory, but contradictory is nothing knew to me. I don’t know what to make of it. Thank You, and much LOVE!

    • Freyja

      Hey I think I can help! The same thing basically happened to me. I got the same score on type 1 and 2, with slightly lower score on 4. After some reading, I found that I was enneagram 1 with wing 2. And I had high 4 because I was under a lot of stress. The lines on the enneagram indicate where you go in times of growth and stress. For type 1, growth is 7 and stress is 4.

      You are probably Type 8 with wing 7, but have a high type 2 score because you are under stress (there is a line from 8 to 2 so this would make most sense). And you would have a dominant wing of either 7 or 9 because they are adjacent to your type 8. You got a higher score on 7, so that is your wing.

      I am new to enneagram so I might be wrong, but hope this helps!

    • Freyja

      Update to my previous reply:

      So I’ve learned about how to incorporate enneagram tritypes! Tritype theory holds that we have three basic types: one in the gut triad (8,9, or 1), one in the heart triad (2,3, or 4), and one in the head triad (5,6, and 7). Each can also have a wing.The order of these types will be based on what you use the most (gut, heart, or head). I think this gives a more complete picture of myself and others, so I really like tritype theory.

      After a lot of introspection, I’ve found that I am a 1w2, 2w1, 7w8 INFJ. My higher score on enneagram type 4 was due to disintegration from stress, so I was right about that. It makes sense to me now why I could not see the 7 in my tritype, as type 1 integrates to type 7 during periods of growth (and my state of mind was the opposite of growth). So I would say that I primarily use gut (1w2), heart (2w1), then head (7w8). This makes sense, as it reflects my cognitive preference for Ni, Fe, then Ti, respectively. But not all INFJs have to have this same order–I’m sure it can vary greatly, depending on the INFJ.

      Based on your results, I would say you got:

      Gut: 8w7
      Head: 7w8
      Heart: 2w3 (or maybe 3w2 since your scores are so close and you said 2 was contradictory)

      I am not sure about the order (gut/heart/head) though, as all of your scores are too close. You may need to read more about the types and do some introspection to know for certain. Look at the motivations of each (8,7,2/3) and if you deal with anger (gut), shame (heart), or anxiety (head) most. That will help you.

      It’s interesting that you say type 2 is contradictory, because the direction of integration for a type 8 is in the type 2 direction…So maybe you are an 8 in a period of growth, moving towards type 2? Disintegration for an 8 goes to type 5 (not 2 like I said in my last post–sorry about that!!! I understand enneagram better now!). So have you ever been a 5 under extreme stress? That would tell you if you are an 8.

      My best guess then is that you’re 8w7, 7w8, 2w3. But again, you’ll have to see for yourself.

      I’ve known one INFJ 8–my high school biology teacher. Best teacher I’ve ever had. I would guess she was 8w7, 7w8, 2w1.
      I’ve also met one INFJ 3, two INFJ 4s, and one other INFJ 1 like myself. 🙂

      I know this is a super late post, but I hope this helps!

  • Gerald James

    The sexual instinct of INFJ resonates and troubles me deeply, because I wonder if that’s the reason why I have not been able to have successful romantic relationships so far. The story usually goes like when I have a crush (after serious considerations and put them on a pedestal) I begin to over-accommodate and willing to change (lose) myself for this person. I could tell it puts them on edge but I don’t know how to behave otherwise. Since I am highly adaptable, how can I maintain myself / stay cool when potential romantic situautions occur?

  • MI

    I felt like type 5 nailed me. Being confused over something really, really gets to me. Too many ideas to list that don’t get started because I can’t mentally map how to get from starting point to end point before I even take on the project.

    I saw another website that had type 4w5 and that also described me. Is that a different system than the one you’re using or is that the same, just explained differently?

  • Erik Thor

    What Antonia said is very important, your regular enneagram impacts how the instincts come of a lot. The 4So struggles more with social envy where the 6So struggles more with gaining the trust of the group. Also, a good thumb rule is that social instinct types have the weakest social boundaries and are the most about accomodating people and a group, where sexual types can be accomodating to particular individuals and in one-on-one interactions, where self-preserving types tend to have the strongest personal boundaries and take the longest to open up and let others in. Personally, I’m a self-preservation type, and my stepdad is as well, my mom would sometimes complain that we would always retreat to our own little caves where she was more of a social type, she basically felt more comfortable when in a group, where we felt more comfortable when we had our own territory.

    • Els

      Thank you for this. I think combining MBTI and enneagram (and tritype) is so essential for a thorough understanding- otherwise I think people are prone to type confusion and mistype. Instincts have always tripped me up, but how you explain them (both in this response and the original blog) really cleared things up for me. I am a 4w5 sx/sp (459 tritype) and while four is my home base, what I tend to describe as the real me, when I shift into Ni-Ti land I start to wonder if I’m actually a five because I feel so cool, emotionless, detached, and mired by mental maps and endless speculation. What helps me shift back to a healthier me is taking in heartfelt emotional expression via art of all forms. It reminds me that I am a being with deep, expansive feeling. Taking intensity of feeling in from external sources reactivates it within myself, like a jump start from an external battery.

  • Chelsea Welch

    I really liked this post. Although I found a bit of myself in each of the 9 Enneagram types, I still identified most strongly with Type 4. The issue I ran into was with the instinctual variants. I felt that I could equally relate to all three of them. Would be nice to have more clarity around that aspect of the system!

    • Antonia Dodge

      Beatrice Chestnut’s theory is that your instinct and your type create a unique subtype, which is why it’s so difficult to try and identify them separately. A 4so is going to look very different than a 6so, and may not even identify as social until they spot their unique subtype. We recorded a video with her on it:


      • Susan

        So kind of you to put out your ideas and back up to them to the person who ended up with (3) 6’s and wondering what to make of it. The time you took and knowledge you’ve gotten, is very respectable indeed. Susan INTJ 3w2

    • Helen

      Chelsea, I have been deeply immersed in the Enneagram for 9 years and typing myself has been very challenging! Some Teachers believe we have two dominant types and I am wondering if INFJ’s have three dominant, making their inner world complex and difficult to describe. On the car model this could may map out as SP4 and SO5 in the driver seat (the 50/50 mix of emotions and thinking dominance) and SX9 in the co-pilot position. This would give strong access to all three instincts. In Tritype theory (which is similar to but not what I’m describing) 459 is known as ‘The Contemplative’. The Contemplative feels to me like Perspectives. INFJ’s main growth comes from clear boundaries and this is definitely true for 9’s and 5’s. In Tritype theory a 459 would be dominant in one of the types and maybe that works for the population at large but for an INFJ we may actually be dominant in all three types.

      If I am right that INFJ’s are dominant in three types, one of each instinct, this means we do potentially have access to all types and all instincts.

      I can look at typing in several other ways using different theories from different teachers and this has made finding my type even more difficult. For example, spiritual teacher Sandra Maitri teaches that the energy of the wings combine together in an alchemical way to create main type. So, another possibility is that INFJ’s have an equal split of energy across the dominant type and it’s two wings. A 5 for example could be equally dominant in 4 and 6 energy. There are other teachings that I’ve considered but they would be too complex to attempt to describe here.

      As you’ve probably gathered, delving into the patterns revealed by the enneagram takes up a lot of my time!

      Erik, have you found self typing difficulties for INFJ’s a common problem? I’d be interested to hear what you think to my comments. Thanks!

      • Chelsea Welch

        Thanks to Antonia, Helen, and Erik for your feedback! It’s a lot to chew on. I’ll have to give it all some time to settle in.

    • Chelsea Welch

      So, not sure if anyone is going to come back and read this, but I recently finished the Progressive Enneagram 1.5 month test and came out as a 3 Sp.

      It’s incredible because I never would’ve guessed that for myself, but it makes SO much more sense now.

      I find it amazing that Enneagram is so powerful that it reaches below the surface of our psyches, to a place where we often can’t even access ourselves, and shows us our most obvious patterns that are not quite obvious at all 😉

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